Former player announced as new Lady Vols head coach

Posted at 4:22 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 17:28:46-04

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The search for the next UT Lady Vols basketball coach is over and it's a name fans have heard before.

Kellie Harper has been announced as the next Lady Vols head coach.

The five-year contract will be worth $750,000 per year.

Harper played for UT in the late 90s under legendary coach Pat Summitt.

She was a junior when UT went 39-0 in the 1997-98 season and won their third straight national championship.

"I'm excited to have Kellie as our new women's basketball coach," Athletic Director Phil Fulmer said. "She is a Lady Vol through and through. Her love of the game, her care and love for her players, and her loyalty to UT all came through during the interview process."

Harper becomes just the third coach of the Lady Vols since women's college basketball became part of the NCAA.

"I am incredibly humbled and honored to be named the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols," Harper said. "Tennessee holds a special place in my heart, and I am excited to embrace the legacy of this proud program. I can't wait to help each player and this team be champions, on the court and off."

Harper, who is from Sparta, has taken three different schools to the NCAA Tournament, making her one of only 11 women's basketball coaches to do it.

Harper spent the last six seasons as head coach of Missouri State. The Lady Bears advanced to the Sweet 16 this past season.

Harper will be formally introduced at a press conference on campus Wednesday.